The last article I read before packing was “The Best Strategy for Reducing Stress“. I should have made copies and distributed them during the 11 hours we spent at the JFK Airport.
We are living proof that the technique in the article works.
We were not stressed, standing for 1.5 hours in line for check-in and security. “At least there are lines,” said the woman next to me, “In Rome, there is no line, only a mob.” She is taking her usual route to Tel Aviv via Rome. She knows.
The flight idled on the runway for two full hours. At some point the captain said we will need to refuel. We didn’t. We simply didn’t fly. No problem. If we did, we would be struck by lightning. So why should we be stressed?
Four conversations later the baggage agent finally understood that not giving us our luggage back was not an option. We wanted out, we wanted to take a bus home, because Delta couldn’t put us on another flight until two days later, nor could it ship our luggage. (Luggage without the owner flying with it is a security risk.) “Well then, what would you like us to do?” When our bags finally appeared on Conveyor Belt F, we had no stress, only joy!
Recycle that “Need Help?” flyer. No one answered the help call. But the stranger who split the airport hotel list with me was a saint. She and I each took two rows of hotels. We called from the courtesy phone one by one. Days Inn in Jamaica asked for $200 for that night. It gave us a roll-away bed that had springs poking my back. No stress, because the seven hotels I called before Days Inn were all full.
That article was right: set your expectations low, then you will be fine.